Three hours in my life

It’s Saturday afternoon and I’ve just arrived back from an interesting walk around Central Sydney. I feel pretty good about life and pretty good about the world. And I really enjoyed my walk, so I thought I’d share a few hours of my life with you.

As it was Saturday, I started off the morning, as usual, watching “The Simpsons” and “Will & Grace” on Foxtel. In the case of both programs I never really liked them when they first appeared on television. Indeed, when “The Simpsons” were a part of “The Tracey Ullmann Show” I considered them a painful interruption. Now, however, they’re both firm favourites and I really enjoy a couple of hours on the couch watching them.

Concerned, however, that I’d spend the day on the couch, I decided to head out for some sunshine. Walking down Crown Street, I cast my eye briefly towards the Surry Hills Markets. The markets have been going for several years now, and although they’re very popular, they don’t do all that much for me. Like the annual “Surry Hills Festival”, I both love them and hate them. I love them because they display a great sense of community. I hate them because they’re actually pretty daggy.

As I walked down Oxford Street, food was high on my level of consciousness. Walking past Starbucks and countless number of “gay cafes”, I found myself having a coffee and almond tart at a really nice little patisserie. I really hate those “gay cafes”. You know the ones where tables of men sit watching the world go by, eating bad tasting and overpriced food and coffee, served by skinny young things with too much attitude.

From there I wandered further down Oxford Street, bought one of those great aloe vera soft drinks I like so much at the IGA Supermarket and then spent half an hour of so enjoying the sunshine in Hyde Park. It’s interesting to lie there in the sun and consider the close physical proximity between those who, like me, are reasonably well off and can enjoy laying on the grass and those who are very poor, homeless, and for whom laying on the grass is a reality.

I then walked over to St Mary’s Cathedral and went in for a few moments of prayer. Am I being the best person I can possibly be? Am I living the lifestyle I should? Am I behaving in my personal and work relationship the way I should?

Upon leaving St Mary’s I was reminded that it’s Hiroshima Day, so I wandered over to the rally in the park. I remember as a teenager and young adult that Hiroshima Day was always an important day on the calendar. Maybe that’s because I grew up in Lismore on the NSW North Coast where the peace movement was strong? Maybe it was because memories of the Second World War were still high in the minds of people I knew. But now, sixty years since the end of the Second World War, just a small crowd, maybe a couple of hundred, were gathered in Hyde Park. It almost seemed as if there were more people selling buttons for Friends Of The Earth or copies of Green Left Weekly than there were people listening and absorbing the messages.

I then walked up through town, finally ending up in Chinatown where I had steamed dumplings in a small cafe in the Burlington Centre.

What a great three hours of my life.

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